Selecting a real estate sales professional is one of the most important choices you’ll make during the process. It’s a good idea to interview several sales professionals before selecting one to represent you. Consider these Interview Checklist questions when comparing sales professionals.
When purchasing a home—whether it’s your primary residence or a second home—it’s a good idea to meet with several sales professionals before choosing one to represent you. Use these interview questions as a starting point for these discussions.
• What can I afford to pay for a home? • Will the sales professional act as a Buyer’s Agent? • Does the sales professional have special training? • Has the sales professional earned any professional designations, such as Accredited Buyer Representative® (ABR®)? • What is the difference between mortgage prequalification and mortgage pre-approval? • What are the key features I must have in my new home? • What features would I like to have? • How will the sales professional help me evaluate and compare the homes I look at? • Can the sales professional provide an overview and copy of the local standard Contract for Sale and typical addenda? • What inspections does the sales professional recommend for the property I’ve selected? Find a Prudential St. George Realty sales professional to assist you
In a real estate transaction, sales professionals may represent the seller, the buyer, or both parties. This representation is called an "agency." In Utah, real estate sales professionals are legally obliged to disclose, in writing, information on the types of real estate agency relationships that exist. It is important to understand the differences between these agencies whether you are buying or selling a home.
• Seller's Agent—A sales professional becomes a Seller's Agent by entering into a listing agreement to represent the seller's interests. Seller representation also exists when a sales professional shows a property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and a "buyer agency" isn’t established. A Seller's Agent may provide information to assist the buyer but must place the interests of the seller first.
o Do not disclose anything to the Seller's Agent you don’t want the seller to know.
• Buyer's Agent—A sales professional becomes a Buyer's Agent by entering into an agreement to represent the buyer. A Buyer's Agent can assist the seller, but must place the interests of the buyer first.
o Sellers should not tell the Buyer's Agent anything they do not want the buyer to know, because the Buyer's Agent must disclose pertinent information to the buyer.
• Limited Agent—Limited agency occurs when a sales professional represents both the seller and the buyer. It also occurs when the Listing or Seller's Agent works for the same firm as the Buyer's Agent. In many states, the buyer, the seller, and the sales professional must agree to a dual agency in writing.
o The Limited Agent is required to treat the buyer and seller honestly and impartially, but the potential for conflict of interest exists.
o The Limited Agent’s duties are more limited. Sometimes a Dual Agent is described as a transaction.
Learn how a home inspection can help you understand the condition of a property.
Inspections help you understand the overall condition of a property. They save considerable time in the buying process, ensure a smart purchase decision, and protect your investment. Inspections can save you thousands of dollars in unanticipated repairs.
This table provides information on common inspection types. Other inspections may be necessary for the home you are considering. Be sure to discuss inspection requirements and recommendations with your sales professional before making an offer on a home.
Standard Home Inspection
Covers lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage or carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical,
Analysis in a lab detects the presence and condition of asbestos fibers. If asbestos is found, buyers should seek professional assistance.
Composition Board Siding
Some siding is susceptible to water penetration, which may cause premature deterioration and rotting. This inspection evaluates the condition of the siding and any areas of high moisture.
Painted surfaces in homes constructed before 1978 should be assessed for the presence of lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be very harmful to you and your family.
On-Site Waste System Evaluation - SeptiChekTM
Examines the fluid level inside the septic tank. The tank is pumped to check its condition, and subsurface liquid waste (effluent) levels are detected as well. SeptiChekSM provides more reliable information on potential problems than a septic dye test. It can alert the buyer to a range of costly repairs or failures.
Private Well Flow and Portability
Determines whether a private well adequately supplies water to the home. Samples are sent to a lab for potability (drinkability) analysis.
Pool/Hot Tub Inspection
Determines the overall condition and operability of the pool and/or hot tub's equipment. The pool deck also is inspected for deterioration and other noticeable defects.
Detects and measures radon levels. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year result from radon in indoor air. They recommend all homes be tested for radon. The EPA recommends that homes containing 4.0 or more Pico curies per liter be fixed.
Evaluates the application of traditional or synthetic stucco siding to determine whether it was according to manufacturer specifications. Checks for moisture that may cause hidden structural damage.
Examines the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects and wood-destroying organisms, such as fungus. Termite inspections also may reveal conditions that are conducive to such insects and organisms.
Underground Storage Tank (UST)
Inspects for corrosion and damage that could allow hazardous materials to escape into the soil and potentially contaminate drinking water. The vacuum test method involves sealing off the tank to create a vacuum. Periodic readings indicate if the tank is losing its vacuum. Results can be provided to the buyer immediately. A second common method is a soil test. Random core samples from the tank vicinity are analyzed in a lab for the presence of contamination. The majority of UST problems occur in the Northeastern states due to the older properties located there.
Since some mortgage options are less conservative than others, it's important to determine if you are a risk taker, or if you prefer more stability in your financial dealings. Do you invest in the stock market? Or do you put your money into certificates of deposit?
These are two different ways of handling money. Your answers to these and other questions which may be asked by your lender will help you to choose the mortgage that is right for you.
When financing a home, it's important to understand whether you are a risk taker, or whether you are more conservative in your financial dealings. Use these questions to help you decide if you are more or less risk averse. Your lender may use similar questions to understand your financial personality, and to help you structure a mortgage that works for you.
• Do you always know your bank balance? • Are you comfortable with a higher level of uncertainty? • Do you invest in the stock market? • Do you prefer to put your money into certificates of deposit?
There are many different ways to finance a home. This table describes some of the options you should discuss with your real estate sales professional and the lender you select:
Fixed-Rate Mortgage Borrower and lender agree upon an interest rate and corresponding principal and interest payment. They remain constant throughout the life of the loan.
• Stable and predictable • Makes budgeting for the future easy • Protects borrower from rising interest rates
• Interest rates are higher than initial interest rates for other types of loans • Doesn’t benefit you when interest rates fall
When to Consider:
• You prefer not to take risks • You plan to stay in your home for more than 5-7 years
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) Borrower and lender agree on an initial interest rate that will change periodically, usually in relation to a specific index. Payments rise and fall accordingly.
• Interest rates are generally lower than fixed-rate mortgages at the beginning of the loan • If interest rates fall, your payments go down
• Borrower takes the risk on the rise and fall of interest rates • Future payments are unpredictable
When to Consider:
• Interest rates are high • You plan to keep the home for a short time • You expect an increase to your income
Balloon Mortgage Starts out as a typical fixed-rate mortgage but has a shorter mortgage term, usually 5-7 years, and requires borrower to pay off the balance at the end of the term.
• Interest rates and monthly payments are lower than for traditional fixed-rate mortgages • Predictable payments for term of loan
• May require refinancing at whatever rates are available at the end of the loan term, if borrower chooses to keep the home • Unpredictable situation after loan ends
When to Consider:
• You plan to keep the home for a short time
Government Loans Through various lenders, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) offer opportunities for many Americans
• Often allows for a lower down payment than traditional bank loans • Insured by the government
• Limited to properties designated as approved for government loans
When to Consider:
• You are a veteran—VA Loan • You are buying a lower-priced home with a small down payment
Starts out as a typical ARM but provides an option to lock in a fixed rate without refinancing. The option is made available after a set time.
• Initial Interest rate is generally lower than fixed-rate mortgages • Locked-in, predictable payments after conversion
• Borrower takes the risk on the rise and fall of interest rates for at least the initial period of time
What are the pros and cons of moving to a different home—or a different area—in retirement?
For many, retirement is a time when people shift priorities and put their own needs first. One of the most important choices they need to make is: where to live in retirement. Choosing the right community and home is an important and challenging decision.
Ask yourself, do you want to:
• Remain in the home you occupied before retirement? • Remain close to your present community, but move to a different home? • Move to another county or state, or to a different climate? • Move into your present vacation property?
Where to Live
If you lean toward moving to another region, start reviewing options based on general climate, seasonal changes, lifestyle, and proximity to family and friends.
Many people choose to live where they play. If finances allow it, some may consider owning two or more homes so they can change their address along with the seasons. This is one of the reasons why second-home sales have increased dramatically over the past few years.
When you’ve narrowed it down to a few possible destinations, compare them on the basis of these factors:
• Estimate the income you'll need to retire in that area. • Evaluate your resources and tax consequences. • Speak with your financial advisors about how long your retirement resources can last in any given area.
• Research average home sale prices and cost of living in areas you like. • Factor in costs such as property taxes and utilities.
• Review summer and winter comfort factors, such as high temperatures, humidity, or snow and ice. • Look at psychological factors such as: excessive cloudiness, rain, or fog.
• Research violent crime and property crime rates in areas you like. • Find details in the FBI's Crime Index and local police departments.
• Investigate the supply, availability, and quality of health care, public transportation, and continuing education in each area.
• Evaluate the potential for pursuing a part-time or full-time second career.
• Find out if the area offers the variety and quality of restaurants, cultural events, and recreational activities you want.
When researching your options, you may want to start with the Internet, where there is a wealth of information. Other resources include:
• Your local library • Associations such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) • Local organizations in your areas of interest • Visitor bureaus • Chambers of commerce • Local newspapers • Vacation guides
Whatever you decide, the Prudential St. George Realty has sales professionals to help you.
If a second home is something you've been considering, get the information you need to make an informed decision here.
Owning a Second Home
Like many people today, you might want to buy a getaway place not too far from home, a place where you can relax and recharge with family and friends. Depending on your circumstances, you might want a second home for work as well as play.
If a second home is something you're considering, get the information you need. It’s important to make an informed decision.
No one can predict the future. However, there are things you can consider to help ensure a second home works for you.
• You'll enjoy it more if you use it frequently. • Be sure you can get to it quickly for spur-of-the-moment getaways. • Consider your interests. • Choose a place you'll enjoy playing in today and retiring in tomorrow. • Trust your knowledge about your local area. • You're likely to make a better investment when it's closer to home.
Today, thanks to technology, a resort property can be more than just a vacation destination you visit once or twice a year. It can be a second home where you live and work part-time throughout the year. It's a home you'll spend even more time enjoying later in your retirement. And until then, your resort property is a tangible symbol of your career achievement and financial success—and one you can share with those you care about.
The best resort areas are the ones that fit your lifestyle preferences. Begin your resort property search by determining where you most want to be and what you most enjoy doing. Do you prefer warm weather and water sports? Or does your idea of fun involve snow-covered slopes? Perhaps golf is your passion, or camping. Maybe your ideal location has a thriving performing-arts community.
Whatever your choices, The Prudential Resort Properties Network® has real estate professionals in just about every area throughout North America. This will enable you to consider specific communities and/or destination resort areas. And you'll be able to consider and compare properties in "parallel" markets if you choose.
It's never too soon to pursue your dreams. Today the appreciation in many resort areas can be better than in major metropolitan areas. So this can be a perfect time to seriously consider investing in a resort property—one you can enjoy now and for many years to come.
If you’ve been considering a second home, make the move that can turn the getaway-spot of today--into a second home for a lifetime. A knowledgeable Prudential Real Estate professional can help explore the best options for you.